Friday, September 19, 2014
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Latest Reviews

Grunt Life
The Thousand Names
The Legend of Eli Monpress
The Red Knight
Cold Days
Andromeda's Fall
Zero Point
Blood Song
King of Thorns
Blood Song
Whispers Underground
Earth Unaware

Grunt Life

User rating
3.4 (1)
Grunt Life

This is a brand new Military SF series from Weston Ochse, an experienced military man and author. 

Benjamin Carter Mason died last night. Maybe he threw himself off a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, or maybe he burned to death in a house fire in San Pedro; it doesn’t really matter. Today, Mason’s starting a new life. He’s back in boot camp, training for the only war left that matters a damn.  

For years, their spies have been coming to Earth, mapping our cities, learning our weaknesses, leaving tragedy in their wake. Our governments knew, but they did nothing—the prospect was too awful, the costs too high—and now, the horrifying and utterly alien Cray are invading, laying waste to our cities. The human race is a heartbeat away from extinction.  

That is, unless Mason, and the other men and women of Task Force OMBRA, can do anything about it. 

This is a time for heroes. For killers. For Grunts.

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year # 8

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year # 8

Press Release from Solaris Books:

The celebrated The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series comes to the UK – Solaris is proud to be the new home for the latest volume in Jonathan Strahan’s critically-acclaimed SFF anthology series!

The best, most original, and brightest science fiction and fantasy stories from around the globe from the past twelve months are brought together in one collection by the multiple-award-winning editor.

This highly popular series is released in the UK for the first time and includes stories from both the biggest names in the field and the most exciting new talents, including Neil Gaiman, Joe Abercrombie, Karin Tidbeck, An Owomoyela, Madeline Ashby, Lavie Tidhar, Charlie Jane Anders, Geoff Ryman, Caitlin R Kiernan and many more.

With a fantastic range of diverse authors and cutting-edge science fiction, this essential book is an established series in the US but has only been found on import in the UK. It now joins Solaris’ high-profile anthology list.

 About the editor

Jonathan Strahan is an editor and anthologist. He co-edited The Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy anthology series in 1997 and 1998. He is also the reviews editor of Locus. He lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his wife and their two daughters.

The Thousand Names

User rating
3.5 (1)
The Thousand Names

Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel — but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic…

Captain Marcus d’Ivoire, commander of one of the Vordanai empire’s colonial garrisons, was resigned to serving out his days in a sleepy, remote outpost. But that was before a rebellion upended his life. And once the powder-smoke settled, he was left in charge of a demoralized force clinging tenuously to a small fortress at the edge of the desert.

To flee from her past, Winter Ihernglass masqueraded as a man and enlisted as a ranker in the Vordanai Colonials, hoping only to avoid notice. But when chance sees her promoted to command, she must win the hearts of her men, and lead them into battle against impossible odds.

But the fates of both of these soldiers, and all the men they lead, depend on the newly arrived Colonel Janus bet Vhalnich, who has been sent by the ailing king to restore order. His military genius seems to know no bounds, and under his command, Marcus and Winter can feel the tide turning.

But their allegiance will be tested as they begin to suspect that the enigmatic Janus’s ambitions extend beyond the battlefield and into the realm of the supernatural — a realm with the power to ignite a meteoric rise, reshape the known world, and change the lives of everyone in its path.

'Blood Song' Pimpage!

'Blood Song' Pimpage!

The best self published book I've ever read is finally hitting the shelves as a fair dinkum bonafide book! Blood Song by Anthony Ryan will be published in the UK on July 4th and the USA on July 2nd. Well worth buying in Hardcover, but heh don't take my word for it.....

The Good:


At the halfway point of 2013, Ryan’s Blood Song is a top contender for most impressive debut of the year.  It is a thick, meaty novel of substance with little gristle.  The novel was a self-publishing sensation receiving a great deal of praise and a lot of sales before Ryan was snatched up by Orbit in the UK and Ace in the US.  All that praise and ‘buzz’ was legitimate.  Blood Song is a powerful epic that, while ending with a sense of closure, hints at more to come.  Tower Lord, the second novel, is scheduled for publication in 2014 and is at the very top of my list of books I can’t wait to read next year.

Fantasy Book Critic

So if you like the "boy with a destiny" story, do not hesitate and get and read this book as it stands among the best such. But even if you do not like that much the above or if you moved away from this type of story like myself, give Blood Song a try as the narrative pull is just extraordinary, the world building very good - with a lot of thought behind, with depth and space and with lots of subtle touches you will enjoy along the way


Vaelin’s journey from the trial and near-death tribulations of his training through to the unavoidable war and conflict of his future is an enjoyable read for both fantasy and fiction fans alike. The balance between the bastions of political and military powers that drive the story forward is very well structured. Add layers of intrigue on a level not normally seen in a single volume and it’s impossible not to see how much work has been put in to the creation of this novel.


Blood Song is the sort of book that reminds me of when I was twelve: I'd check a book out from the library, hide on the sofa and devour it cover to cover (with breaks only to pee, turn out the necessary lights and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Now I'm a little more critical (jaded?), but I still love - and want - that feeling of completely absorbing escapism that good fantasy can supply - and Blood Song brings it in force. It might not be new, or different, or even particularly surprising, but this is still the sort of book that makes you squeak "woohoo!" at key moments - and there can never be too many of those.

The BAD:

Pauline's Fantasy Review

The world building is perhaps the weakest aspect of the book. The setting, both geographically and politically, is decidedly sketchy, and there were moments when I wasn’t quite sure exactly where we were. Sometimes when times or distances or locations were given in some detail, I still had trouble tallying that to the map. Descriptions were brief and not always particularly useful. I rarely knew, for instance, what characters were wearing. And the magic system, such as it is, is so vague as to be not much more than a plot contrivance

Speculative Fiction Junkie

There are a number of problems with the book. The first is that it does an inadequate job of convincing the reader that the children we meet at the beginning of the novel are the same individuals as the adults they have ostensibly become by its end. An author cannot expect a reader to believe in a character’s transformation simply because the author says the character has been transformed; the author must demonstrate and convince us of the character’s transformation and this book flat out fails on that front.

Here be my review and an Interview I did with Mr Ryan and here be an excerpt!



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